Today's Top TipOnline business plan scams are alive and doing very well. There's even a new wrinkle: the "crowd funding". Trust me, no one makes money but the promoters in this scheme.
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You're creative! You're ambitious! And you need a greeting card business plan to help jump start your business.
Well, you are in the right place.
The surge in online greeting cards has created two splendid opportunities for greeting card makers: (1) To Join the online revolution, and (2) to create truly special hard copy greeting cards. Or both.
I belong to an online service that lets me send as many cards each year as I want to. And for those occasions that demand it, I look for very special hard copy greeting cards. And when I get the hard copy version, I am willing to pay more to send that very special greeting.
That is likely The Most Important component of a new greeting card company: It must be able to provide cards that no one else has, a style, a technique, a character that is its very own. If your cards could be mistaken for Hallmark cards, you will have a hard time competing.
Figuring out what it will take to get that business off the ground isn't too hard at all. Set aside a few hours and work through Start Up Right Now, a top start up workbook.
Here is where your ideas begin to take shape. Work through different scenarios -- online or hardcopy, employees or you alone, outside printing or in house printing, advertising options -- and all the other expenses of running a new business.
Consider different funding options, and how expenses might be better controlled.
An Excel spreadsheet is included with START UP RIGHT NOW, so you can work through all the options you want to. This is a business plan just for your eyes, not a banker's nor investor's, so be as honest with yourself as possible.
While it is tempting to focus on the creative aspects of your business, your analytical time will benefit from a solid look at marketing your greeting cards. Where will they be sold? Who will buy them? How will you promote to both the local store, and to the ultimate buyer? Do you need to provide your own displays? Do you need to cover them in plastic?
Go talk with some shop owners. Find out if indeed they will carry your line, and if so, what kind of sales they would project.
If yours is to be a home based business start up, we've got you covered!
Home based businesses of all kinds are extremely popular, mostly because they are so much cheaper to operate. And businesses now recognize a home based business as simply that: home based. The stigma that used to come with being a home business no longer exists.
Starting part time is an option too. This is a great workbook for deciding how big to start, and what to do if there isn't enough money to start it as you would like.
As with any startup business, make sure your market is there.
Here is where you need a workbook to create a great business plan.
Honestly, it will be tough to get outside financing when yours is a startup business, but that is true of all startup businesses, not just greeting card companies.
When your business has enjoyed some success, and you are ready to expand, that is the time to look for outside financing.
Your first challenge will be determining just how much money you need, what the money will be used for, AND how you will repay the loan. Your financials need to demonstrate pretty clearly that the money will indeed help you get more business, make more profit, and comfortably pay back your lender.
No one is going to challenge that you are creative because your greeting card business plan layout will demonstrate that creativity very clearly. What they will question are your business and marketing skills, so that is where you need to focus.
Unless you already have a specialty in greeting card design, do keep your options open for all sorts of cards, like holiday greeting cards, custom business cards, elegant handmade cards or even musical greeting cards.
Greeting cards are a wonderful business, a wonderful career. We wish you every success!
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Startup Business Specialist
focus, focus, focus
from JoAnna in British Columbia
I have stopped trying to be it all, and now I focus on specialized greeting cards for special occasions. I did a series that was sold at the Olympics in Vancouver, and I do customized baby announcement and wedding announcement cards. I now have a great little business, nicely profitable. I am very glad I used your Start Up book to figure out to approach the business. It really is a dream come true.
I set up a whole new line of cards for my friends in Hungary, in Hungarian. Great fun! And even some money!
We needed to get our first press, so I took your advice and wrote up a whole new greeting card business plan for the leasing company. Made a big difference. Great rate. Easy transaction. Got delivered in a jiffy. Thanks!
We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to
have the life that is waiting for us.
E.M. FORSTER, novelist
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